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13
Dec

Eric Mongiello Transformation

Who are you? What is something most people do not know about you?

My name is Eric Mongiello. I am 35 years old and have been married for 15 years to my wife Renee. I also have 3 kids. Aiden is 16, Bryce is 11, and Gabriella is 7 years old. 

When I was 10 years old, I was shot in the right eye with a BB gun. 

Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?

I have been working out on and off since I was 14 years old. So I have been training now for 19 years! The only problem was that I never stayed consistent. Ever since I joined Bellhouse CrossFit two years ago, the gym has felt like family. We workout together. We hang out together. And we also go to church together. 

Plus, I JUST LOVE THE PLACE!

What are the accomplishments you are most proud of since joining the gym?

I am most proud of my consistency with CrossFit. I am part of the 400 club at the gym. This means I have worked out at Bellhouse CrossFit over 400 times. I can do muscle ups now, and I did a team competition scoring second place.

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

I stay focused on my overall goal of showing up no matter what. I do not make excuses. I get to the gym and get work done.

What is your current focus or goal in the gym?

I want to continue staying consistent. I want to improve strength, hit my nutrition goals, and continue getting a consistent amount of sleep. 

30
Nov

Commit to Yourself

One of the definitions of commitment is…

    “an obligation that restricts freedom of action”

You have a choice to workout or busy yourself with something else. 

There is always going to be something else. You are responsible for your actions. 

It is my job to teach healthy habits. To demonstrate proper mechanics of movement. To provide feedback and assist with accountability.

So, are you committed to yourself?

Are you committed to working when it is cold outside?

Are you willing to workout when you are feeling uncomfortable?

Can you promise yourself to attend class even if the workout is not in your wheelhouse?

Results are seen from consistency. Results come when you follow through on the promise you made to yourself. 

The reason most goals will fail is because you forget to commit. It sounds nice. You have the best of intentions. You have been visualizing success. You wrote it down on your notes app.

Did you tell another person about your goal?

Did you write out a plan with step by step actions?

Did you check that your goal was S.M.A.R.T?

You have an obligation to yourself. An obligation to succeed. The definition of commitment above makes the word seem like a burden.

The burden is when your obligation to procrastination outweighs your desire for success.

Do you want to be healthy?

Do you want to lose weight?

Do you want to gain muscle?

Do you want to get your first pull up?

These goals sound great… but if you do not make a step by step plan to get there, then it is just fancy words.

Commit to yourself and see just how much potential you have. I bet it’s more than you think.

Sign up for a free consultation by clicking https://bellhousecrossfit.com/get-started/#calltoactionprimary

Make a commitment with yourself.

By Blair Agan

19
Nov

Boogie Russell Nutrition Transformation

Allow me to introduce you to Boogie Russell. 

Boogie is a nutrition client at Bellhouse CrossFit. He started working out in Spring 2021 to battle his clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety. 

The World Health Organization claims 10% of adults worldwide have depression and anxiety. It is a crippling condition that makes you unmotivated, paralyzed, angry, and sad to name a few symptoms. While there is not a cure for depression and anxiety, there are ways you can mitigate and find ways to lessen the effects.

Exercise and healthy eating has helped Boogie control his depression and anxiety.

Boogie attends the 6:30am class at Bellhouse CrossFit. You know he is there when you see the gray crocs in the cubbies. You know he is driving his Camaro when you hear the engine rev down Bob Smith Rd. Boogie has become a staple member of the class, and even though he has recently become a proud father of a newborn son… he is making all the effort to keep attending. 

On day one, Boogie weighed 226 pounds. He worked hard, exercised with consistency, and modified the workouts appropriately to see results. 

Boogie decided he wanted to take his health journey a step further and commit to nutrition coaching. On day one of nutrition coaching, Boogie weighed in at 218 pounds and 24% body fat.

Boogie honestly logged his foods, watched his calories, and ate cleaner. One day at a time, one week at a time, and one month at a time the results began to show. 

There were weeks when Boogie’s nutrition coach was asking, “What happened this weekend?” 

Eating heathy and committing to nutrition coaching doesn’t mean you will lose weight. You have to be accountable, do the hard work, and remain disciplined with the diet. There are fluctuations. There will be days with setbacks. There will be days with confusion and feeling frustrated. 

Overall, the goal is to create healthy habits. Healthy habits that will stick with you for a lifetime! Healthy habits of eating more fruits and veggies, less processed foods, and eating because you are hungry; not because you are bored.

After three months of persistent tracking and learning about healthy habits, Boogie weighed in at 186 pounds and 15% body fat.

That is a weight loss of 20 pounds and 9% body fat! 20 pounds in three months. 30 pounds altogether from when Boogie began CrossFit classes at Bellhouse CrossFit.

Boogie is still working with his nutrition coach and has more goals in mind. The next step is to heal from a recent injury, continue to cut towards his goal weight of 180 pounds and 12% body fat, and complete sets on the bar muscle up.

If you come by the 6:30am class and see the gray crocs in the cubbies, give Boogie a fist bump and congratulations on his weight loss journey so far. 

We are all on a heath journey. It is a lifestyle. There will be ups and downs. There will be leaps forwards and days we go backwards. That is normal. You are not a robot. With the right coaching, the right plan, and some discipline… you can also meet your goals. Whether it is losing weight, gaining muscle, or preparing for some sport or competition… the coaches at Bellhouse CrossFit are prepared and ready to help you. 

Click https://bellhousecrossfit.com/get-started/#calltoactionprimary to schedule your free No Sweat consultation and learn how you can get started on the path to improving your health today!

By Blair Agan

[email protected]

12
Nov

Healthy Holiday Tips

The holidays are fast approaching as we draw to the close of 2021. Families and friends will soon gather for Thanksgiving. After that, with a blink of the eye, you will be under the Christmas tree celebrating the completion of another year. This can be a difficult time to remain consistent and chase towards your goals. 

Here are three tips to keep in mind this holiday season to stay healthy.

Tip #1

Drink Water

Along with the changing seasons, the weather also begins to cool off. Even in South Texas, we will see some cold fronts come in as everyone dusts cobwebs off their hoodies, pullovers, and fleece jackets. When it gets cold outside, the desire to drink water decreases. Your body still needs it! Water is essential to your body in its daily functions, and improves tissue health. A good rule of thumb is to drink a litre for every 40 pounds of body weight. A 120 pound female will need to drink at least three liters of water a day. A 200 pound male is looking at 5 liters. 

Tip #2

Reflection

Alongside physical activity, reflecting on your goals, past habits, and performance helps to set a trajectory moving forward. It is important to revisit your goals and determine if they are still realistic for you. Have you been working towards the same goal for six months when you originally stated it would take two? How can you break up that goal into smaller components so you can take actionable steps to achieve it? Have your values changed? How about your priorities? I have a son now and my priorities have certainly shifted since one year ago. Set aside some time during the holiday season to reevaluate your goals. 

Tip #3

Follow The Program

At Bellhouse CrossFit, we have coaches that are trained to teach you exercise, keep you safe, and improve your health. If you stay consistent, humble, and coachable, you will see results! Stick to the program and trust the process. There aren’t shortcuts when it comes to losing fat, gaining muscle, or improving performance. It takes hard work, discipline, and a knowledgeable coach with you each step of the journey. Our coaches at Bellhouse CrossFit are invested in your journey. Continue working out at the gym or home during the holidays. 

Sign up here for a three day trial. 

By Blair Agan

5
Nov

5 Tips to Improve Sleep

Daylight Saving time ends on November 7th. The good news is you get one extra hour of time in bed that night! The bad news is the time will change again next spring. Today I am going to share five tips with you to help navigate the time change and build better habits around your nighttime routine.

Tip #1: Make a nighttime routine

Nighttime routines do more than keep you organized. They also prepare you for sleeping throughout the night. Your body is an incredible system. It wants to be on a schedule. Your body will release hormones signaling it is time to go to bed, but they often get ignored because of schedules, work, and other activities. Did you know that humans are the only mammals which intentionally sacrifice sleep to stay awake longer? Take a warm shower, listen to your favorite music, journal, read, spend time with your family, or take a short walk before bed. Any activity that helps you reduce stress at night will go a long way in helping you stay in bed for higher quality sleep. 

Tip #2: Limit caffeine and alcohol 

The rule of thumb is four hours before bed. Studies show caffeine and alcohol have a significant negative impact on sleep. Deep sleep is when the body releases physically restorative hormones, and these drugs harm your slow wave sleep cycle. You can still enjoy the coffee, tea, and wine when you want. You need to know that they do not help your sleep. If you have something you are training for, caffeine and alcohol before bed will hold you back from meeting your goals. 

Tip #3: Exercise

Exercise makes you tired. Working a stressful or physically demanding job makes you tired. If you can be tired before bed, that is a sign your body will have better sleep. If you are going to bed without being tired, consider doing exercise at some point during the day. Exercise has many other benefits besides sleep! One caveat here: a draining workout before bed will have the opposite effect. Exercise turns on the feel good hormones and activates the sympathetic nervous system. As you get ready for bed, you want the parasympathetic system to become activated. Finish a workout at least a full hour before bedtime and take a cold shower to cool the body. 

Tip #4: CDQ

The stands for cool, dark, and quiet. You sleep better in a cool environment. Think about the fan going and having the thermostat at 72 degrees or lower. Use black out curtains or a sleep mask to keep it dark. Have the room as quiet as possible during the night will help you sleep. Consider using ear plugs to drown out any excess noise. 

Tip #5: Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Screens harm your REM sleep. That is the mentally restorative part of sleep. If you can turn off the blue light on your phone, or avoid screens altogether… it will improve your sleep. Consider putting blue light blocking glasses on or putting the screens away during the last hour before bed. 

Overall, find a nighttime routine that you can consistently keep and stick with it! One of the best ways to find a routine is to practice different things for a week and see how you feel. Write down how many hours you were in bed and subtract one hour. That is the amount of actual sleep you got. 

Good luck with improving your sleep!

Blair Agan

28
Oct

10 General Physical Skills

by Blair Agan

On October 1st, 2002… Greg Glassman released the “What is Fitness” article and changed everything. The fitness industry we know today spawned out of the CrossFit movement. Small gyms, group classes, and boutique gyms became more popular and accessible for the general population. I will post a link to read his full article at the bottom of the page. Glassman makes an argument for fitness using three models. One of the models is the 10 General Physical Skills. Today’s blog post is going to cover each of these skills, how we can improve them, and why we need to care.

These ten skills can be improved by taking classes at Bellhouse CrossFit. You want to steadily increase your capacity at all ten skills over time. The goal of health and welllness is to be well rounded. You are a formidable human being, not just a strong person… or a fast person. Here are the ten skills.

Cardiorespiratory endurance- can your body process and deliver oxygen

Stamina- how well does your body use energy

Strength- the ability of a muscle to apply force

Flexibility- the ability to move a joint in the desired range of motion

Power- the ability of a muscle to maximally contract and produce force

Speed- how quickly you can cycle an exercise

Coordination- combining multiple movements in one exercise

Agility- minimizing transition times from one movement pattern to another

Balance- controlling yourself in space

Accuracy- control of movement in any direction with intensity

The first four skills are considered “hardware.” They are the show off skills that get worked on in the gym during a workout. The last four skills are considered “software.” These are practiced with a low heart rate during skill work. The middle skills, power and speed, are practiced alongside all the others.

It is important to differentiate and categorize the ten skills so you know how to work on them. Now I will list the skills again with examples of how to improve.

Cardiorespiratory endurance- complete at least ten minutes of running, rowing, or biking

Stamina- complete intervals of cardio exercises such as jump rope, burpees, or running

Strength- work out with medium sets and medium reps such as 5×5 back squat

Flexibilty- contract your muscle while stretching for at least 90 seconds

Power- my personal favorite is glute bridges and broad jumps

Speed- having the proper mechanics and consistency to repeat air squats

Coordination- toes to bar is a great example with using hips and shoulders to move the body

Agility- a burpee workout is a good example with cycling reps and moving the body in space

Balance- think one legged squats or holding dumbbells over head

Accuracy- think hips going below parallel for fast squats, or the rope passing under the feet on double unders

As you improve in these skills over time, you will also see your fitness improve. It is our hope for you at Bellhouse CrossFit to see results. We want you to care about all ten because they help you become well rounded. Having a weakness in any area is going to decrease your performance. It may also affect your health. What good does it do you to have strong muscles, but no range of motion? Do you have any questions or want to know more about the 10 General Physical Skills? Reach out to Coach Blair by emailing [email protected] to schedule a no sweat consultation! Hope to hear from you soon.

Link to read Greg Glassman’s “What is Fitness” article https://journal.crossfit.com/article/what-is-fitness

19
Oct

How to Eat Healthy

by Blair Agan

    There are three categories of food.

Processed.

Plants.

Protein.

    These categories do not mix. If food comes in a package, or is made in a factory then it is processed. If food comes from the ground, it is a plant. If food comes from a living animal, it is a protein. These are the basics.

    As much as possible, eat plants and protein. If you can manage that, you will see weight loss, body fat reduction, improved mood and sleep, and increased muscle mass. Your body craves real food. It was made to eat real food. Over the years we have confused our body with processed foods.

    Processed foods are not the enemy. Our choice to eat processed foods is. That means we need to be intentional about fueling our body. 

    When you acknowledge that processed food is not real food, then you are on the road towards health. Nutrition is the bottom of the pyramid of health. We have to understand what goes into our body in order to fuel our body for everything you want to do in life. Fueling on tortilla chips is different from fueling on baked potato. Fueling on microwave dinosaur chicken nuggets is different from fueling on cage-free chicken eggs. 

    Plants and protein are packed with micronutrients you need. Processed foods are packed with calories. Calories are a number. They control the weight we gain or lose. A sustainable diet is the diet you can see yourself eating in one year from now. Plants and protein also help us feel better. They regulate our hormones and give us the variety needed of vitamins and minerals to operate optimally.

    Do you want to learn more about nutrition? Reach out to [email protected] to sign up for nutrition coaching. We would love to help you out!

12
Oct

How to do an Overhead Squat

    The overhead squat is a rewarding and challenging exercise seen at about other week at Bellhouse CrossFit. It is rewarding because you must have the prerequisite range of motion to achieve the position necessary to move safely. It is challenging because the range of motion is difficult to master if you have a history of shoulder impairment.

    When you squat overhead, you are still doing a lower body pushing movement. You are going to feel it in the quads. Especially when there are light loads for high volume. The shelf you create overhead is felt most often in the wrist. You can dynamically stretch the wrists as shown by squeezing just below the hand and moving forward to back, side to side, or opening and closing. There are many tiny ligaments and bones in the hands which are stressed with load overhead. Take care of your hands! 

    The lats might be your overhead squat limiter. 

    The ankles might be your squat limiter.

    Your spine might be your squat limiter.

    You may have more than one of these as your limiter. 

    There are options to open and fix these positions. The overhead squat is about wrapping the pinkies over the bar, shrugging the shoulders to the ceiling, pointing the elbows to the ground, showing off the armpits, squeezing the belly, getting the feet facing foward. As you begin to quarter squat, half squat, and full squat… fight to maintain the position with the bar overhead! This is challenging, yet so rewarding. If you practice the accessory stretches for your body and overcome the limitations of your range, then you will be moving swiftly and fluidly over time. 

The overhead squat does not come in one session, a week, or a month. You have spent time in a flexed position with rounded shoulders for possibly years… so start today by rolling the shoulders back, finding good posture, and begin the fitness journey towards carrying a load overhead. Email [email protected] for personal training on the overhead squat, or ask any coach at Bellhouse CrossFit for some help with this fabulous exercise. 

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